Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review -- "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs

Oh my.

This is a strange, fantastical story.  And it will either enchant you or weird you out.  Or a little bit of both.

As a lover of vintage things, I have a special fondness for old photographs and cabinet cards.  This book includes tons of old photos culled from ten different people's collections and they all work into the story.  If you would like to see some of the photos, click this link to the Amazon.com page and then click the short video clip called "Related Media".  

The book is about a boy whose grandfather has told him amazing tales of his time in a home in Wales he was sent to "to be safe" during WWII.  Of historical note -- many kids were shipped off from various European cities, away from their parents, in hopes they would survive the war, and subsequently became orphans.  Very sad.

As the boy grows up, he realizes his grandfather's stories of fighting monsters, a girl who could levitate, an invisible boy, and other "peculiar children" he lived with had to be just that -- stories.  Or were they?

The rest is a multi-level story that demands you, the reader, suspend your mind from reality and enjoy the story -- just go with it.  The pictures are haunting, interesting, and a couple are so creepy I didn't think at first they were real, but staged (and was even more creeped out when I got to the end of the book and realized they were actual photos.  But an interested creeped out.)

Do NOT buy this book on a Kindle or you won't be able to see the photos well or read any of the handwritten letters that are printed on some of the pages.  This is a book you want to hold in your hands.

If you read this, let me know what you thought!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off. She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene and is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.


  1. I'm looking forward to my library hold coming in!

  2. The title alone has me curious. I have read several accounts ( fictional but based on fact) about odd living arrangements for children during this war.
    I would give it a read.

  3. I read this last week & loved it. I wish it had been longer, or he revisits them again. It was totatlly worth it to be 39th on the wait list from the library!

  4. Have I mentioned that I look forward to your book reviews? Well, I do. Almost as much as I look forward to your 'bead-y' posts.

    I read this book about a month and a half ago. I'd read several reviews and I think they raised my expectations so much that I was a little disappointed when I finally DID read the book. It's a lot better than a lot of the teen/young persons fiction that's out there now though. I liked the photos - they were the best part I think - as well as the sense of nostalgia and vague melancholy threaded throughout the story.

  5. Hi, I enjoy your book reviews and have this one on my wish list. Ransom Riggs is amazing - if you have the time, look him up on youtube, he has been collecting these photos for years, and his recent video about the Salton Sea is stunning, as is the one about his trip to Europe, exploring abandoned homes. I believe he calls them Thoughts from Places. Just some fun for your spare time!
    Happy reading and youtubing,

  6. I read this book for book club a month ago. I was skeptical about reading it, but enjoyed it a lot. Also, I did hear that there will be a sequel to this book. It seems everyone is writing series now!! LOL

    Let me also say that I read this on a kindle. I read in a review NOT to read it on a kindle because it was too hard to see the pictures. I will say that it was not really a problem to see the pictures on the kindle any more than it was hard to see some of the detail in the book itself, so if you are a kindle person, do not let that discourage you from reading the book.

    I enjoy your book reviews, Lori!


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